Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/United Kingdom/Japan/Germany, 2001. Paramount Pictures, Mutual Film Company, British Broadcasting Corporation, Lawrence Gordon Productions, Marubeni, Eidos Interactive, KFP Produktions GmbH & Co. KG, Tele München Fernseh Produktionsgesellschaft, Toho-Towa. Story by Sara B. Cooper, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary, Screenplay by Patrick Massett, John Zinman, Adaptation by Simon West. Cinematography by Peter Menzies Jr.. Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Colin Wilson. Music by Graeme Revell. Production Design by Kirk M. Petruccelli. Costume Design by Lindy Hemming. Film Editing by Dallas Puett, Glen Scantlebury, Eric Strand, Mark Warner
Lackluster adaptation of the hugely popular video game that has Angelina Jolie filling in more than ably for the title character. Swaggering around in great clothing and accessorized by the coolest gadgets imaginable, Jolie’s Lara Croft is an action woman extraordinaire, seizing her audience by storm with her powerful physical and emotional presence, and presenting the most popular female action hero since Sigourney Weaver first started battling those evil aliens. The story, however, isn’t up to her standards, wasting the gorgeous around-the-world locales and strong supporting cast in favour of overly-edited action scenes and deceptive but ultimately useless character development (all the scenes about Croft dealing with her father’s untimely death never really tell us anything about her or her relationship with him). The plot, such as it is, concerns our heroine racing against time to save the world from being taken over by a Venice-based power cult called the Illuminati who require an ancient talisman to be used in a ritual during a powerful solar eclipse. Though it features many good visual effects and exciting battles in ancient temples, all the trappings you hope for in a film of this sort, there’s always the feeling that something’s missing. Once you reach the finale and find out it’s topped off by the most anti-climactic ending of the year, you have finished watching an okay but unremarkable movie starring a very impressive but underused leading lady. Followed by a better sequel.